What you need to know
- Microsoft has steadily been improving the connection between Windows and Android across its services.
- On Tuesday, Office Insiders gained a new ability in Word and Powerpoint courtesy of the “Link to Windows” app.
- When editing Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, users will now be able to insert photos from an Android device.
- This new feature comes shortly after Microsoft’s Phone Link app gained support for mobile hotspots on select devices.
The majority of people who rely on Windows for work likely also own a smartphone that they regularly use. Over the last few years, Microsoft has invested heavily in improving the connection and communication between these differing devices, and the gap is growing a little smaller with Tuesday’s new feature for Office Insiders.
As announced by Microsoft (opens in new tab), Office Insiders are now able to access and insert photos from their Android phone directly into a Word document or Powerpoint presentation on the web. The feature is powered by Microsoft’s powerful “Link to Windows” app available for Android devices (and baked into select Samsung phones and the Surface Duo family of devices).
After connecting an Android device via Link to Windows, Microsoft 365 subscribers will be able to choose “Mobile Device” as a new location when inserting a photo into Word or Powerpoint. Their Android phone gallery will appear, and users will be able to insert any photo without needing to dig out their phone or work out how to transfer specific pictures. This feature is currently limited to Office Insiders and only for the online-specific versions of the productivity tools, but will likely roll out to more users and places in the future.
Link to Windows is the same app that powers Phone Link, which allows Windows 10 and 11 users to access their phone’s apps, messages, calls, notifications, and certain quick settings from the comfort of their PC. This new feature for Office may be the first time the app extends beyond Phone Link. Microsoft recently revealed that Phone Link is also gaining support for Android mobile hotspots on Samsung devices, a feature that will potentially become available to Surface Duo owners in the future.